Specific Tire Solutions for Mining Developed with CustomersWed, 10/21/2015 - 11:08
Q: What influenced Goodyear’s decision Goodyear to enter into the Mexican mining market?
A: Mexico’s economy is extremely interesting and it is the second biggest market for tires in Latin America, after Brazil. If its current growth rate remains, then it will likely become the top market for tire companies in Latin America in the near future. In terms of off-road (OTR) tires, it is also an important market together with Peru and Chile. Given the importance of this segment to Goodyear and its use in the mining industry, we have a solid market share in the Mexican and global OTR mining market. Our strategy is based on working together with mining companies through dedicated teams in order to understand their needs. These teams not only advise companies on the products to acquire but also on the proper application of our products. As a tire manufacturer, Goodyear understands what its products are being used for; we know that its application is deeply affected by the type of cargo, the distance that needs to be covered, and the climatic and operational conditions. An adequate application allows the product to perform better, last longer, and provide greater stability and safety.
Mexico is at a crucial turning point of becoming the leading economy in Latin America. It is positioning itself as a leading mining country that is rapidly industrializing. The country is taking the correct measures to position itself globally, by signing FTAs with numerous countries around the world, including major world economies. Mexico has opened its economy far more than other countries in Latin America. This has led to an enormous amount of investment that has been placed in the different industrial sectors in Mexico. The country has an advantaged geographic location, a border with the largest consumer in the world, and privileged access to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. That is all creating a great future for the Mexican economy. The reforms that have been recently implemented will, in the medium- and long-term, bring real economic benefits to the country due to their pro-business nature. Its economic forecasts are already very good and mining is an important contributor to these forecasts. Mining has always been an important pillar for Mexico and it has always had important domestic and international players participating in the industry. It is natural for Goodyear to be among them.
Q: What resources does Goodyear allocate to the OTR markets?
A: We allocate many resources to OTR markets around the world. In Latin America, we produce OTR tires in Colombia, while we have other plants in Europe, Japan, and the US. We have a wide portfolio ranging from smaller tires for earth movers and large tires for mining equipment. We have a technical staff in Mexico and we also bring in specialists from the US and Peru when a project demands it. We invest heavily in R&D to improve our products as the amount of research that goes into a tire might surprise people, yet it is necessary to increase the productivity and safety of our products. After all, a faulty tire can cost the life of a mine operator and a good tire can increase the productivity of a mine. The main benefit of our OTR is the performance that it gives.
Q: Considering that operating conditions vary from mine to mine, how versatile are Goodyear’s products?
A: There is no project in which our products cannot be used. Considering that the mining environment also affects the productivity of a tire, we have made products for mining companies operating in all the differing regions of Mexico and the world. We have a dedicated sales staff that is composed of field experts. Our OTR tires are sold only after a visit to the mine. This is a necessary step that allows us to make careful observations about the road infrastructure, the equipment, and the operational conditions. The mining industry is interesting because the price of the product does not come up until after the visit of the mine has been completed.
Despite the size of the large OTR tires segment, there is typically a lack of supply on a global scale. Goodyear is able to guarantee a steady supply of products. Our clients also benefit from our engineers’ extensive expertise, as they are able to recommend the ideal tires for specific mining operations. We not only visit a mine when a product is being chosen, we also visit it to make sure that the use of our product is adequate and monitor the state of our products after use. Doing this allows us to ensure that the optimal performance is achieved. This is a market that cannot be serviced from behind a desk, it has to be serviced from out in the field.